Chef Neri unveils new menu: “We bring to the table the time-honored flavors of the Campanian tradition with a dash of imagination”

Emiliano Neri, chef of the restaurant “Da Gemma,” brings to the table the flavors of his homeland, Campania, with a touch of innovation and great attention to the enhancement of local products. His culinary philosophy is based on a perfect blend of tradition and modernity, where classic dishes are reinterpreted with creativity, creating new sensory experiences. Born in Naples, Neri approached the world of cooking almost by chance, attending the Istituto Alberghiero. There, he discovered an overwhelming passion that took him to the stove at just 14 years old, never to leave it again. His love for cooking is evident in every dish he creates, where he skillfully blends the flavors of the sea, to which Neri is particularly attached, with those of the land. He is not afraid to be daring, with unusual combinations that, however, always respect tradition. His continuous search for novelty leads him to experiment and always come up with new dishes, such as the “dish of the day,” a real surprise for the palate.

Tell us about the new menu. What are the new features?

Starting with the appetizers definitely the Buffalo Mozzarella stuffed with shrimp and lemon tartare, tomato purée, Neapolitan tarallo and basil.

Chef, what prompted you to create this appetizer?

I wanted to create a dish that would enhance the typical flavors of my land, Campania. Buffalo mozzarella is a must-have ingredient in any Campanian cuisine, and the shrimp represents the sea that laps our coast. Combining these two elements in one dish is a way to celebrate the richness of our gastronomy. I believe that the land and the sea can meet harmoniously in the kitchen. The buffalo mozzarella has a delicate and slightly sweet flavor, which goes perfectly with the savoriness of the shrimp. The lemon adds a note of freshness, while the tomato purée and Neapolitan tarallo complete the dish with a touch of tradition.

Nella sua cucina, però, il mare regna sovrano.

Anche se adoro sperimentare accostamenti audaci che uniscono sapori di terra e mare, nella mia cucina il mare ha un ruolo predominante. Mi ispira la sua vastità, la sua freschezza e la varietà di prodotti che offre. Al centro della mia filosofia culinaria ci sono le materie prime locali. Lavoro a stretto contatto con piccoli produttori che condividono la mia passione per la qualità e la genuinità. Pesce fresco pescato ogni giorno, tonno locale, gamberi di Mazara del Vallo, seppie del territorio: questi sono solo alcuni degli ingredienti che utilizzo per creare i miei piatti. Un ruolo fondamentale nella mia cucina lo ha la pasta.Ho scelto di utilizzare esclusivamente pasta fresca di alta qualità, prodotta da un giovane pastificio artigianale di Gragnano, il Pastificio 28 Pastai. La loro linguina, premiata dal Gambero Rosso, è un vero gioiello di gusto e artigianalità.

In his kitchen, Mediterranean tradition meets creativity and a passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients. On the menu among the first courses we find spaghetto alla Nerano, a great classic revisited with mastery.

It is a great classic of the Mediterranean tradition that I wanted to revisit in a modern way. I use only fresh, high-quality ingredients: fried zucchini, butter, basil, parmesan cheese and provolone del Monaco. The result is a simple dish, but with an intense and refined taste. Spaghetto alla Nerano is an iconic dish of Campania, but I wanted to give it my own interpretation, using high-quality ingredients and innovative preparation techniques.

How does the “Dish of the Day” work?

Every day, the catch of the day inspires me to create new dishes. These are off-paper dishes that change daily, based on what I find at the market. Fresh seasonal fish, lobster, lobster, purple shrimp, cuttlefish, cod: each day is a sensory journey to discover the flavors of the sea. I collaborate closely with local fishermen, who send me photos and videos of their catch every morning. Based on what I have available, displayed in our fish showcase, I create dishes.

Chef, tell us about your new dish, Sea Bass with crispy skin, chickpea hummus, caramelized onion and lemon.

I am excited to present this new creation, which represents the essence of my culinary philosophy. I wanted to create a dish that enhances the freshness of the fish, using simple but high-quality ingredients. I believe the uniqueness of this dish lies in the combination of flavors and textures. The crunchiness of the sea bass skin contrasts with the softness of the chickpea hummus, while the sweetness of the caramelized onion is balanced by the acidity of the lemon. It is a dish that surprises the palate and invites new taste discoveries.

His desserts are a hymn to the territory, to the Campania tradition

I believe that pastries should be a sensory experience that celebrates tradition and the authenticity of products. I offer a selection of traditional desserts from Campania, such as classic Caprese and lemon cake, tiramisu and many other proposals. I use modern preparation techniques and unexpected flavor combinations to create desserts that are both familiar and surprising, just as our customers want.

What is the added value of your cooking?

I cook as if I were to eat myself; those who cook for themselves always cook well with love and passion. My cooking is simple, but with attention to every detail. I do not like complicated elaborations, preferring to enhance the natural taste of ingredients with delicate cooking and studied combinations. My goal is to offer my clients a unique and unforgettable dining experience. I want each dish to be a journey to discover the authentic flavors of the Mediterranean, of Capri, an ode to the excellence of local raw materials.